The Official Website for The Original Amateur Hour

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Long before TV's American Idol became a mega-hit, there was one radio and television series that started the talent competition craze: The Original Amateur Hour. On broadcast TV, the host was Ted Mack, Major Edward Bowes hosted it on the radio, and on cable TV, Willard Scott was the host.

Almost 50 major stars of movies, the recording industry, stage, screen, and television got their start on this series. This is the show that made the "gong" famous as well as "the wheel of fortune" and the phrase "round' and 'round she goes, and where she stops, nobody knows."

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Some of the first-time, struggling amateurs who got their start on The Original Amateur Hour included:

• Frank Sinatra
• Pat Boone
• Nick Carter
• Gladys Knight

• Ann-Margret
• Robert Klein
• Raul Julia
• Beverly Sills

• Connie Francis
• Maria Callas
• Joey Dee and the Starliters

• Robert Merrill
• Jim Stafford
• And Many Others

When Stars Were Born

This website shows you some sample glimpses of these great stars when they were still unknowns. Please browse the site to learn more about one of the landmark programs in broadcast history. Send us your questions and comments, and most of all, have some nostalgic fun remembering The Original Amateur Hour.

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Bowes Postcards Bowes Radio Medal

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